2012-03-08 / Schools
Head of elementary ed gets big promotion
Robert Iezza, director of elementary education for the Conejo Valley Unified School District, will step into the role of assistant superintendent of instructional services starting in the 2012-13 school year.
Iezza’s appointment was approved by the board of education at its Feb. 21 meeting. He will replace Janet Cosaro, deputy superintendent, who will retire in June.
The school board is expected to approve a new director of elementary education at its March 27 meeting, Iezza said.
Iezza has spent his 25-year career in CVUSD serving as an adaptive P.E. teacher, dean and assistant principal of instruction at Newbury Park High School, assistant principal at Madrona Elementary School and principal at Maple and Conejo elementary schools. He has been director of elementary education for the past five years.
“I’m excited about this opportunity. This has been my work home for 25 years. I live in this community. My children went through our schools. I have a real stake in the schools here,” said Iezza, who grew up in Glendale and moved to the Conejo Valley in 1983.
When he takes over for Cosaro on July 1, Iezza will lead a department that has lost two directors, two assistant directors and some support staff due to budget cuts.
“We want to be as effective, if not more effective, with a smaller team,” he said.
He also hopes to be a strong liaison for parents.
“The parent community is a big part of what makes our district successful. It’s important that I have a sense of what the community’s expectations are.”
Iezza’s major focus will be preparing staff, students and parents for the national Common Core Standards and related assessment test, which will replace the California Standard Test starting in the 2014-15 school year.
The new test was created to better measure students’ readiness for college and a career, Iezza said.
The CST is administered to students in grades two through 11, but it hasn’t been decided whether the CCS exam will be given in the same grade levels, he said.
“We’re constantly looking for ways to improve instructional programs and be visionaries to get kids career and college ready,” Iezza said.
Cosaro, who’s worked in education for 35 years, sees “more active online learning” in the future.
“What will really be important is the integration of technology into what students are doing,” Cosaro said. “Our world has changed.”
The deputy superintendent chose her career as a student at the University of Redlands. She went on to obtain her master’s degree at Cal State Northridge before working for the Los Angeles County Office of Education and then Las Virgenes Unified School District.
She moved to CVUSD in 1999, where she’s served as special education coordinator, assistant principal at Lang Ranch Elementary, principal at Ladera Elementary, director of special education and director of curriculum and instruction.
Cosaro now looks forward to devoting more time to her almost- 2-year-old twin grandsons. She’ll also keep busy with Picnic Time, her family’s picnic products manufacturing company.
After Cosaro’s retirement was announced at last month’s school board meeting, trustees thanked her for her service.
“I always admired the fact that, with all your responsibilities, you always remain so calm and have so much dignity,” trustee Mike Dunn told her.
Trustee Tim Stephens said Cosaro has “shone brightly” in all of her roles.
“In each position that she’s filled . . . she’s stepped up big time and showed she had the right skills for each of those jobs. It takes an exceptional person (to do that),” Stephens said.
Cosaro called her departure bittersweet.
“When I was deciding on a career, a very popular book was ‘What Color Is Your Parachute?’ In the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about who has packed my parachute,” Cosaro told the board. “Those are the people that I’ve worked with through the years who’ve contributed to my success.”